A brief company history….. Conceived of in 2005 by Aaron Patzer Raised ~5M Series A funding, October, 2007 Launched at Techcrunch40, September, 2007 Reached 100,000 registered users, December 07 Raised ~12M Series B, March, 2008 Several accolades picked up along the way…
Perception….the experience of managing your personal finances sucks
Observations about the personal finance space… Demands on time leave little room for managing finances Setup is painful, maintenance is frustrating Getting basic questions answered is difficult Tools are built for accountants (not friendly or fun) Why do I need to pay a fee to save? I am mobile, why arent my finances? Many tools are missing the point: Money is a tool for living!
The category is full of similar tools…many of which are not meeting user needs…
Mint is a free personal finance tool Aggregates all your accounts in one place Automatically categorizes your transaction Shows you where your money goes Saves you money by searching hundreds of offers Protects you via unusual spending & changes in credit available alerts Informs you of interest rate changes Prevents fees via bill reminders & low balance alerts And much, much more…
User experience is essential… Engaged users are good for an advertising business model Competitive differentiation Target customer is not an accountant..the tool is not an accounting tool Best marketing is word-of-month We are product people!
Design principals... Simple is better Never ask what you probably already know When you ask, listen intently Design for ‘wow’ moments
Organizational characteristics that aid good design… ‘Common sense’ strategy Practice intellectual honesty Hire innate product sense Encourage emotional intelligence Have passion for the path as well as the goal
Design influences all stages of development… Strategy, Discovery & Ideation Know who you are as a company, what you mean to your users and where you are heading Assess strategy with a user experience filter -> feasibility and quality matter most Strategy, Always know and believe in why you Discovery & are building your products Ideation Hire ‘Product’ People
Design influences all stages of development… Definition & Interface Design Always start with understanding the root issue Empower designers with a voice and a stick Definition & Interface Design Move to design ASAP (sketch) -> iterate-iterate-iterate Strategy, Discovery & Design for “wow” moments, Ideation leave an impression!
Design influences all stages of development… Human Interaction Evaluate everything you hear, but don’t stop making progress Human Interaction “Release early and often” Definition & Interface Design Qualify: Foster community, solicit Strategy, feedback, use it. Discovery & Ideation
Design influences all stages of development… Analytics (feedback) Analytics Use analytics to study behavior Human Interaction Instrument your product to uncover truths Definition & Interface Design The power of observation: Mint categorization Strategy, Discovery & Ideation Analytics don’t drive strategy (Avoid: got ROI mentality)